Missed opportunities cost New Berlin West a victory
Vikings lose quarterback with fractured shin
New Berlin West football coach Al Moroder could probably accept an opening night defeat Friday night easier than he could a doctor's report Saturday morning on talented starting senior quarterback Dylan Wiese.
Wiese broke his right shin in the second quarter when a defender's helmet slammed into his leg.
"It's a fractured shin," Moroder said. "The doctor said he could be back in three weeks, but I am not rushing him."
Meanwhile on the field, the Vikings wasted a good defensive effort at home and dropped a 3-0 decision to Grafton in their non-conference opener.
The game was scoreless for three periods before the Blackhawks' Will Birch boomed a 44-yard field goal with 10 minutes, 31 seconds left in the game for the only score of the contest.
The defenses dominated, as West's Wiese (2-for-3, 20 yards) and sophomore backup Jonathan Kozlowski (6-for-12, 44 yards, two interceptions) totaled just 64 yards passing.
Grafton quarterback Matt Weisflog was 4-for-10 for 55 yards and two picks.
Things were better on the ground for the Vikings, as senior running back Bryan Watson rushed 18 times for 84 yards, a 4.7 average. He was the game's top rusher. The Vikes totaled 121 yards in 34 tries, a 3.6 average.
Weisflog (37 yards) and Alex Teich (36) led the Blackhawks, who managed 88 yards rushing, as the West defense held them to a 3.0 average.
Wide receiver Chamika Wijenayake caught six of the Vikes' eight passes for 46 yards, a 7.7 average.
"We had some missed opportunities on offense," Moroder said.
The Blackhawks blocked a 26-yard field goal and also stopped West on the 3-yard line on a fourth-and-1.
The Vikings also shot themselves in the foot when they had a touchdown called back because of a block in the back early in the game.
"We had opportunities to win the game," Moroder said. "We had two 10-play drives the first two times we had the ball."
But he was pleased with the defense.
"The defense played lights out," he said, praising defensive backs Wijenayake, a senior, and Eric Kennedy and defensive lineman Alex Rodriguez.
Kennedy twice broke up touchdown passes and saved TDs, Wijenayake had a big interception, and Rodriguez was a mainstay on the defensive line.
The Vikings travel to Waukesha West for a non-conference game with the Wolverines (1-0) at 7 p.m. Aug. 30.
— Tom "Sky" Skibosh
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